Medical Negligence – Poor tooth extraction settlement for $850K

Liam’s Case

Dentist performed tooth extraction poorly causing significant consequences. Client settled for $850,000.

Liam was 47 years old when he attended a dentist with an infected tooth. Liam had undergone radiotherapy 10 years earlier for mouth cancer. Another dentist had told him previously that before having a tooth extracted he needed hyperbaric oxygen treatment to strengthen the bone. The dentist extracted the tooth without requiring Liam to have a course of hyperbaric treatment. He failed to perform the extraction properly and failed to provide proper follow-up. Liam attended a major public hospital because his infection was not healing. He was again sent away with antibiotics but with no proper plan for follow up.

Liam suffered osteoradionecrosis in his jaw, meaning the bone in his jaw died. He required his necrotic jaw to be removed and replaced with a bone graft. The bone graft was provided by the fibula in his right leg. As a result of jaw surgery, Liam suffered severe scarring and facial deformity. The loss of the fibula in his right leg has caused severe disability with walking and mobility. As a result, Liam was unfit for his pre-injury work as a motor mechanic. Liam also suffered severe depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of his severe injuries.

Expert evidence established that there was a breach of duty of care by the dentist in the way the tooth extraction was performed and in respect of inadequate follow-up. This also extended to the hospital.

The matter was settled for the sum of $850,000 plus a significant allowance for Liam’s legal costs. Both the dentist and the hospital contributed to the settlement.